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Weekend Reads

The beginnings of an oral history of Chicago school teaching; the state of Chicago health care; the neighborhoods with the most flower power; DIY urbanism in Logan Square; and more

Chicago skyway

 

* Gapers Block kicks off “Classroom Mechanics: An Oral History Project” with Annie, a third-grade teacher, interviewed by Micah Uetricht:

But I’m probably one of the few teachers who will say this: I’m willing to give up my raise as long as they don’t increase class size and cut teachers. If my not receiving a raise means one of my coworkers not getting cut, that’s fine.

* Also in Gapers Block, Monica Reida on health care in Chicago:

Ultimately, Chicago’s health care problem is rooted in its hyper-segregation. Primary physicians are not that easy to find outside of the downtown area of Chicago, unless you live on the North Side. Chicago is lacking in urgent care clinics, which serve as great alternatives to emergency rooms. Additionally, most urgent care clinics charge what a physician would charge rather than an emergency room, which saves a patient money as well as the health care provider.

* If you haven’t read it, Aleksandar Hemon’s National Magazine Award-nominated piece for the New Yorker, “The Aquarium”:

In the I.C.U., we found her entangled in a web of I.V.s, tubes, and wires, paralyzed by Rocuronium (called “the rock” by everyone there), which had been administered to prevent her from ripping out her breathing tubes. We spent the night watching her, kissing the fingers on her limp hand, reading or singing to her. The next day, I set up an iPod dock and played music, not only in the willfully delusional belief that music would be good for a painful, recovering brain but also to counter the soul-crushing hospital noise: the beeping of monitors, the wheezing of respirators, the indifferent chatter of nurses in the hallway, the alarm that went off whenever a patient’s condition abruptly worsened.

* Steven Vance on some DIY urbanism in Logan Square:

Not all infrastructure ideas have to come from the agency, though. In January, a group composed of a preservationist, a transportation engineer, and an architect met with Klein and Luann Hamilton, deputy commissioner of project development at CDOT, to present their vision and plan about a traffic problem in their neighborhood. In the past 100 years, Logan Square has become less square and more circular, to the detriment of people trying to pass through on foot or bicycle. It now has four lanes of fast, one-way traffic circling the small park, which includes the Illinois centennial monument. Four lanes of Milwaukee Avenue cut through the square diagonally.

* Not a read, but a download: BikeLock, a bike rack finder by a Groupon developer that uses City of Chicago open data.

* Maria Inez Zamudio on the problem of wage theft, and the barriers victims face in fighting it:

In 2008, researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago conducted a survey of 1,140 low-wage workers in an attempt to quantify how often employers in Cook County break labor laws. The study, “Unregulated Work in Chicago,” found that 47 percent of low-wage workers experienced wage theft at least once during the previous work week. Collectively, these workers lost more than $7.3 million per week as a result of labor law violations.

* Crain’s figures out which neighborhoods are the most likely to be buying flower seeds. Not surprisingly, the farther west you go—and thus the less dense you get—the likelihood is higher.

* Lee Bey finds a vacant fire house among the remains of the Union Stock Yards.

 

Photograph: phvolmer (CC by 2.0)

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